State Street Project

City of West Lafayette

In his state of the city address earlier this year, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis prodded President Donald Trump. This came after the mayor attended an anti-Trump rally held by women’s groups the day after the president’s inauguration.

Now, it’s not new for the mayor to break with Republican dogma and anger other GOP officeholders – just look at his tiffs with then-governor Mike Pence over same-sex marriage and the state’s so-called religious freedom bill. But pushing back against the president is a different sort of battle.

City of West Lafayette

After years of literally molding over, West Lafayette’s city hall has been demolished. But what will replace it is still unclear – as is where that replacement might stand.

City of West Lafayette

It’s no secret the city of West Lafayette aims to look significantly different in the next few years.

The State Street redesign gets underway in earnest this year, with a major portion of the road set to close this summer. But what about the buildings along the road?

City leaders have approved several new mixed-use developments – some of them so tall they may need special clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration before ground is broken.

Kyle May / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kylemay/

After Dave Buck resigned from his job as West Lafayette city engineer and public works director in September, he went to work for private engineering firm Butler Fairman & Seufert – a company that’s done a significant amount of business with the cities of West Lafayette and Lafayette. 

The move raises the question of whether Buck’s new position creates an advantage for his new employer or either city. 

City of West Lafayette

The West Lafayette City Council is set to decide the fate of a 600-bed high-rise a developer wants to build just south of State Street.

It’d add more beds to the neighborhood, but might also raise concerns about urban sprawl and the culture of the area just off the Purdue campus.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we speak with West Lafayette’s John Dennis about what impacts he sees from the plan and whether they jibe with his vision for the city.

Also on this week’s show: a number of listener questions about roads around the city.

How can we get more bike lanes?

City of West Lafayette

The many different moving parts of West Lafayette's State Street redesign continue to turn, but one project has been delayed by two years. 

Russell Street, on the Purdue campus, has been converted from a one-way to a two-way street as expected. And excavation work is underway to relocate a segment of Todd's Creek, just west of Airport Road. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The city of West Lafayette has hired a new development director to oversee the business investment the city will rely on to pay back the cost of its State Street overhaul.

Erik Carlson replaces Chandler Poole, who sat on the Joint Board that drew up the State Street redesign, but who left the city earlier this year to move back to his home state of Wisconsin.

Carlson has worked in economic development in Indianapolis and before that in Lexington, Kentucky, where he covered the beat as a reporter.

City of West Lafayette

You might say this week’s Ask The Mayor is all about cameras.

They’re watching us as we drive, and we talk on this week's show about how the city of West Lafayette is trying to use them to streamline traffic.

They’re also on us when police pull us over while driving – and the cost of getting copies of that video may be going up sharply.

Also on today’s show, as construction has gotten going on the periphery of the State Street overhaul, we ask about a couple other ancillary issues.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

As he said himself, Purdue President Mitch Daniels isn’t that interested in ground-breaking ceremonies—“the business with the phony shovels and the phony dirt is so stale and so worn out”—but even so, he was on hand for the ceremonial ground-breaking for West Lafayette’s State Street Project. Perhaps the fact he got to use a 25-foot dirt loader instead of the standard-issue spade had spurred a change of heart.

Daniels was joined by West Lafayette mayor John Dennis, who manned a backhoe.

City of West Lafayette

It’s an open question how much money the city of West Lafayette will have in the coming years.

It’s going to be stretched thin to help pay Purdue back for the State Street overhaul and a major bridge tax would put many property owners at state-mandated tax caps. So does the city need to get bigger to net more money?

We put that question to West Lafayette’s John Dennis this week on Ask The Mayor.

Last month, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said on this program that the local media played some role in causing anxiety about road construction.

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